FIFI is now FAA approved with her modified R-3350 engines (photo: CAF)
The re-engine project for the Commemorative Air Force B-29 known as 'FIFI' hit a snag early in the flight testing phase. After the first flight on August 5, a pre-ignition problem on the number 2 engine damaged some of the cylinders requiring engine removal and repairs. But, on Friday September 24th, FIFI was back in the air for two flights, and the engines worked great. On the following day, a third problem-free flight satisfied the FAA that FIFI was once again ready to help tell the stories of the men and women who sacrificed their lives for freedom.
The first event FIFI will attend is the big Commemorative Air Force 'AIRSHO' at the Midland International Airport in Texas on October 9 and 10. This isn’t just a perfect event for the B-29 to be ready for, but it’s also where people will have their first opportunity to actually purchase a ride in this historic aircraft. Having ridden in a B-17 earlier this year, I must say that experiencing a WWII bomber in-flight truly transforms your thinking about the effort put forth by those who fought in the war. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime chance to better understand the people and the airplanes that won the war.